×

5 Places to Dine in Venice, CA

Chanoa Tarle

Contributor

Southern California’s Venice has a lot more to offer than surf-skate culture, artists and that infamous boardwalk. As Los Angeles’ international profile rises, so does Venice’s reputation- accompanied by an ever-enticing lineup of restaurants for foodies. From Gjelina with its bustling bar scene and fluctuating menu to people-watching central and delicious pizzas at The Rose Venice, the enticing neighbourhood is home to one must-try destination after the next. Here are five places to dine on your next trip to Venice, California (advance reservations are highly recommended).

Gjelina

Equal parts buzzing social spot and delicious dining establishment, the Abbot Kinney restaurant, Gjelina, is one of the hottest places to dine in all of LA. Whatever one orders, adding a pizza to the repertoire is a must, with authentically-Italian pies so good they’ll inevitably be talked about for weeks. Still, the trick to loving Gjelina for a long time is to never get too attached; Gjelina boasts an ever-fluctuating menu of options by Chef Travis Lett. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers such delectable dishes as raw oysters, charcuterie fare, inventive vegetable preparations (charred Japanese sweet potato, anyone?), duck confit, pork meatballs, butternut squash agnolotti and more. For takeaway breakfast fare, amazing coffee, fresh-baked bread, rich French butter and more, Gjelina’s sister establishment, the deli, bakery and café - Gjusta, cannot be beaten. Note: Gjelina is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. In the meantime, head next door to order from Gjelina Take Away.

The Rose Venice

Walking distance from the beach and located on Rose Avenue, The Rose Venice has been a local institution since 1979. Today, its walls are decorated with works by local artists and the gorgeous renovated space features a bevvy of indoor and outdoor seating options, able to transform a guest’s experience every time. There are indoor seating areas, a thriving bar scene, bakery and market, and two alfresco dining areas - the front and back patios. During the pandemic, however, only outdoor dining is available as well as delivery and pickup. Another great place for pizza (a Venice, California theme), The Rose Venice (Executive Chef Jason Neroni) also offers a number of other delicious dishes including cacio e pepe, grilled branzino, roasted chicken diavolo and black truffle spaghetti; meanwhile, seasonal dishes thrust fresh vegetables and mushrooms into the spotlight and mouthwatering baked bread keep guests craving more. Finally, any guest with a sweet tooth may find delight in numerous desserts, pastries and a Los Angeles favourite: Verve coffee.

Felix

Felix, a relative newcomer founded in 2017, is an incredibly-stylish, upscale Italian trattoria on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Chef Evan Funke delivers thoughtful dishes specific to particular regions of Italy - namely the north, the centre, the south and the Italian islands. Shortlisted as a James Beard finalist for “Best New Restaurant 2018” and named the “#1 Best New Restaurant in America” by Esquire Magazine, Felix is the go-to restaurant for handmade pasta and fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from family-owned California farms. The restaurant’s small but focused menu features the likes of pappardelle ragù bolognese, rigatoni all’amatriciana, pesce capone palermitana and even costata alla fiorentina, a 60-day dry-aged prime ribeye steak. 

Scopa Italian Roots

The brick-walled Scopa Italian Roots is ideal for a big night out with friends thanks to an upbeat atmosphere, a fun bar scene (its massive, illuminated bar is the centre of attention) and New York City in LA vibes. Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso delivers Italian-American cuisine for dinner and brunch with an excellent wine selection and numerous offerings perfect for sharing. Guests may expect such savoury, comfort food meals as crispy squash blossoms, stuffed mushrooms and an heirloom tomato salad to write home about before diving into a roasted chicken, whole branzino, rigatoni with vodka sauce and fresh ricotta and more. Open for dinner, the popular Scopa Italian Roots serves meals until late and offers outdoor dining, to-go and delivery. 

The Tasting Kitchen

At The Tasting Kitchen helmed by Executive Chef Travis Passerotti, the menu changes daily, offering an exciting and fresh experience - every time. The popular social meeting place seems as if it were designed for engaging conversations with interesting strangers nearby and intimate interactions with friends and loved ones, albeit interactions with guests outside of your party have changed considerably in the age of COVID-19. Visit The Tasting Kitchen to enjoy the likes of gourmet cheese, charcuterie, oysters, an extensive pasta list (including vegetarian options) and other dishes in the spirit of wagyu bavette, day boat scallops and duck breast. The delectable meals may be paired with any number of fine selections from an extensive list of primarily French and Italian wines; three-course and five-course tasting menus meant for sharing offer the perfect scenarios for sampling a fair range of the day’s offerings. The Tasting Kitchen is temporarily patio dining-only and is available for reservations Wednesday through Sunday.

Become a member to join the conversation!

Become part of the world's leading travel & lifestyle community!

Related articles